Image of Madge Evans

Madge Evans

Lovely Madge Evans was the perennial nice girl in films of the 1930's. By then, she had been in front of the camera for many years, starting with Fairy Soap commercials at the age of two (she sat on a bar of soap holding a bunch of violets with the tag line reading "have you a little fairy in your home?"). 'Baby Madge' also lent her name to a children's hat company. In 1914, aged five, she was picked out by talent scouts to appear in the William Farnum movie The Sign of the Cross (1914), followed by The Seven Sisters (1915) with Marguerite Clark. By the end of the following year, she had amassed some twenty film credits, appearing with such noted contemporary stars as Pauline Frederick or Alice Brady. All of her early films were made on the East Coast, at studios in Ft.Lee, New Jersey. In 1917 (aged eight), Madge made her Broadway debut in 'Peter Ibbetson' with John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore. She resumed her stage career in 1926 as an ingenue with 'Daisy Mayme' and the following year appeared with Billie Burke in Noel Coward's costume drama 'The Marquise' (1927). Her pleasing looks and personality soon attracted the attention of Hollywood and she was eventually signed by MGM in 1931. During the next decade, she appeared in several A-grade productions, notably as Lionel Barrymore's daughter in MGM's Dinner at Eight (1933) and as the dependable Agnes Wickfield in one of the best-ever filmed versions of David Copperfield (1935). She co-starred opposite James Cagney in the gangster movie The Mayor of Hell (1933), Spencer Tracy in The Show-Off (1934) and listened to Bing Crosby crooning the title song in Pennies from Heaven (1936). Madge received praise for her performance as the star of Beauty for Sale (1933) and The New York Times review of January 13 1934 described her acting in Fugitive Lovers (1934) (opposite Robert Montgomery ) as 'spontaneous and captivating'. Many of her 'typical American girl' roles did not allow her to express aspects of the greater acting range she undoubtedly possessed. Too often she was cast as the 'nice girl' - and those rarely make much of a dramatic impact. On the few occasions she was assigned the role of 'other woman' , such as the Helen Hayes-starrer What Every Woman Knows (1934), audiences found her character difficult to believe and disassociate from her all-round wholesome image. When her contract with MGM expired in 1937, Madge wound down her film career and, following her 1939 marriage, concentrated on being the wife of celebrated playwright Sidney Kingsley. She last appeared on stage in one of his plays, "The Patriots", in 1943.

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Jul 1, 1909
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Husband and Wife 1916-08-28
Latest Project:
Movie Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? 1975-08-06
Known For
Poster of Calm Yourself
Poster of What Every Woman Knows
Poster of Paris Interlude
Movie Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (archive footage) 1975-08-06
Series Matinee Theater Unknown 1955-10-31
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Series Your Show of Shows Unknown 1950-02-25
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Series The Philco Television Playhouse Unknown 1948-10-03
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Movie Sinners in Paradise Anne Wesson 1938-05-19
Movie Army Girl Julie Armstrong 1938-08-11
Movie Espionage Patricia Booth 1937-02-26
Movie The Thirteenth Chair Nell O'Neill 1937-05-07
Movie Exclusive Story Ann Devlin 1936-01-17
Movie Moonlight Murder Toni Adams 1936-03-27
Movie Pennies from Heaven Susan Sprague 1936-11-25
Movie Piccadilly Jim Ann Chester 1936-08-14
Movie David Copperfield Agnes Wickfield as a Woman 1935-01-18
Movie Calm Yourself Rosalind Rockwell 1935-06-28
Movie Age of Indiscretion Maxine Bennett 1935-05-10
Movie Men Without Names Helen Sherwood 1935-06-29
Movie The Tunnel Ruth McAllan 1935-10-27
Movie Grand Canary Lady Mary Fielding 1934-07-20
Movie Fugitive Lovers Letty Morris 1934-01-05
Movie The Show-Off Amy Fisher Piper 1934-03-09
Movie Stand Up and Cheer! Mary Adams 1934-05-04
Movie What Every Woman Knows Lady Sybil Tenterden 1934-10-18
Movie Paris Interlude Julie 1934-07-27
Movie Death on the Diamond Frances Clark 1934-09-14
Movie The Nuisance Dorothy Mason 1933-06-03
Movie Made on Broadway Claire 1933-05-19
Movie Hallelujah, I'm a Bum June Marcher 1933-02-03
Movie Hell Below Joan 1933-06-08
Movie Beauty for Sale Letty Lawson 1933-09-01
Movie Dinner at Eight Paula Jordan 1933-12-22
Movie Day of Reckoning Dorothy Day 1933-10-26
Movie Broadway to Hollywood Anne Ainsley 1933-09-15
Movie The Mayor of Hell Dorothy Griffith 1933-06-24
Movie Lovers Courageous Mary Blayne 1932-01-23
Movie The Greeks Had a Word for Them Polaire 1932-02-03
Movie Fast Life Shirley 1932-12-16
Movie Are You Listening? Laura O'Neil 1932-03-21
Movie Huddle Rosalie 1932-05-14
Movie Sporting Blood Miss 'Missy' Ruby 1931-08-08
Movie Son of India Janice 1931-08-01
Movie Guilty Hands Barbara 'Babs' Grant 1931-08-22
Movie West of Broadway Anne 1931-11-28
Movie Classmates Sylvia 1924-11-19
Movie The Web of Desire Marjorie 1917-03-04
Movie Husband and Wife Bessie 1916-08-28
Movie The Revolt Nannie Stevens 1916-10-01
Movie The Hidden Scar Dot 1916-10-15
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